Prognostic Factors Fact Sheet
The stages of breast cancer range from 0 to IV (0 to 4). Stage depends on the combination of:
For example, a cancer with a T1 tumor (less than 2 cm), no lymph nodes with cancer (N0) and no metastases (M0) is classified as stage I (T1N0M0).
Most often, the higher the stage of the cancer, the poorer the prognosis (chances for survival) will be. The highest stage (stage IV) is any cancer with metastases (M1), no matter the size of the tumor or the lymph node status.
The table below lists the tumor (T), lymph node (N) and metastases (M) classifications.
Stages of Breast Cancer
Ductal carcinoma in situ
Early breast cancer
Locally advanced breast cancer
Any T, N3M0
Metastatic breast cancer
Any T, any N, M1
Facts for Life: What is Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer 101
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